The Pittsburgh Steelers have, so far, had two of their first 11 games postponed a total of three times. One was moved to another week entirely, while the scheduled game against the Baltimore Ravens was first moved from Thursday to Sunday, and now to Tuesday.
Several prominent Steelers players did not hide their public frustration with the first move, which they saw as robbing them of a mini-bye week, such as JuJu Smith-Schuster and Eric Ebron. This made enough waves that the team was criticized in some corners of the media for seeming to lack perspective about the situation.
After the game was moved again to Tuesday, though, they did get three days off and sort of a mini-bye anyway. Head coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged in speaking to reporters earlier today that the players enjoyed that time off, and they are ready to go for the day after tomorrow.
Nevertheless, there was still some frustration, as there naturally would be when you have a big event that gets postponed, multiple times, that you spent a lot of time preparing for, and which conflicts with subsequent events. But there is one central theme, and that is that they all must be ready for curveballs, because they’re striving for one ultimate goal.
“I’ve had some talks with some guys, and I’ve just said, ‘this is just a chapter in our book’”, defensive lineman Cameron Heyward said earlier today. “This is something we will be able to write down in the future and hopefully it is along with a Super Bowl, but for this group, we just keep rolling with it”.
“We understand that every team is going through something like this”, he added. “Not to this extent, but we have to be ready for any situation. I think Coach [Tomlin] has laid out the plan. It’s up for us to follow it and it’s up for us to bounce back with it”.
Let’s face it, though, it’s clear that you’d much rather be the Steelers than the Ravens here. While Pittsburgh will be without Stephon Tuitt and James Conner, Baltimore will be minus Lamar Jackson, J.K. Dobbins, Mark Ingram, Matt Judon, Mark Andrews, Calais Campbell, and several others—including their long snapper.
Frustration, in the moment, is fine, but you have to put it past you quickly, because there is still a job to do. It doesn’t matter if you think the circumstances that you’re placed in are fair, because they don’t change based on your feelings. You still have to show up when you’re told and get the job done, and if you’re not properly prepared for it, you stray from your goal.
This is a 10-0 team with a shot at locking up the AFC North in the near future. They are in the driver’s seat for the number one seed. That’s what they must be aiming for. The only date they need to be concerned about is the date the Super Bowl is being played.